We all know many ways to treat high cholesterol, among them eating right and exercising and perhaps even taking some medication to help. What we don’t often hear about is the importance of keeping our thyroid function in check. Untreated thyroid disorders can be responsible for high cholesterol levels.
Being generally healthy, active and having good weight, does not always prevent a person from developing a dysfunction of the thyroid. Symptoms of thyroid problems can be very subtle in some individuals and can include lethargy, feeling cold, excessive sweating, hair loss, weight loss or weight gain, just to name a few. All symptoms can be mistaken for many other conditions or blamed on a hectic lifestyle. When a few of these symptoms are present, especially along with high cholesterol levels, it might be worthwhile taking a good look at the thyroid function.
There are different blood tests to check for thyroid dysfunction. A common test measures TSH levels. Although levels are considered to be in the normal range up to 5.5 mIU/L according some labs in the US, some doctors and natural therapists now believe that these numbers have to be looked at and reevaluated.
There are many doctors, who treat patients for hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid medications when TSH levels are above 2.5 mIU/L. These medications have been around for a very long period of time and have been declared safe even in pregnant patients.
When thyroid dysfunction is corrected by medication, often times cholesterol levels stabilize at the same time, reducing the need for cholesterol lowering medications, on which the jury is still out.
- If you have high cholesterol or a number of symptoms including lethargy, feeling cold, excessive sweating, weight loss or weight gain, visit your doctor and ask for a blood test to check thyroid function.
- Ask your doctor to tell you the result of the TSH levels. If the levels are in the normal range, you may still have thyroid dysfunction, especially if TSH levels were above 2.5 mIU/L.
- Find a doctor specialized in thyroid dysfunction and talk to them about trying synthetic thyroid medications. There are some doctors offering natural remedies to optimize thyroid function, however results take a longer time and may not be as effective.
- Remember to revisit your doctor in a couple of months to once again check thyroid and cholesterol levels.